Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Serena Williams nears 8th Wimbledon title, 24th Slam overall

Kerber's at full stretch to make a return Kerber's at full stretch to make a return Credit Eddie Mulholland
Rita Gibson | 14 July, 2018, 09:44

Kerber raced into her second Wimbledon final as the German crushed former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3 in just 67 minutes on Thursday, July 12.

Just 10 months ago, Williams suffered life-threatening pulmonary embolisms after delivering her daughter, Olympia, via C-section.

"It's insane. I don't even know how to feel because I literally didn't think I'd do this well in my 4th tournament back", Williams said ahead of Saturday's final, July 14.

She said: "Every year for a couple years she comes out to Wimbledon and has supported me. I had a really tough delivery and I had to have multiple surgeries and almost didn't make it when I gave birth", the champion said.

While Leah Stivala wrote: 'I'm just patiently waiting for Meghan Markle to be in the Royal Box with Kate watching Serena at Wimbledon'.

Although Williams won that match in straight sets to claim her seventh Wimbledon championship and the 22nd of her 23 Grand Slam titles, she noted that Kerber, who has two Grand Slam titles of her own, is a more experienced, unsafe opponent today than she was two years ago. Goerges, who has never been so far into a Grand Slam, showed no sign of nerves at all, despite a break-point in her first service game.

The final tally told the story: Ostapenko had far more winners, 30-10, but also far more unforced errors, 36-7.

"It is a completely new match", said Kerber, who failed to make a Grand Slam quarterfinal in 2017, won zero tournaments, fell from No. 1 to 21 and changed coaches.

Earlier, Kerber neutralized the booming groundstrokes of Ostapenko to reach her second Wimbledon final.

How to Watch Nadal vs Djokovic Live Stream Online in USA
Both players had set points on their own serve, and both were denied until Anderson scooped a forehand wide and Isner was ahead. He converted his second set point when Nadal netted a backhand, minutes past the tournament's 11 pm curfew.

Zoe Colver, 39, from Manchester, said she was shocked about how long it took her to get back into playing hockey.

"I had a really tough pregnancy delivery".

"She's always going out there to win the matches. For me, I only see joy out of it", Williams said with a smile.

Kerber had beaten Williams in the Australian Open final in January, but the German couldn't produce another shock.

All those questions about her mobility and fitness levels and whether she can beat top-15 opposition were answered swiftly and brutally. The following year she won four para-cycling world titles before she became Britain's most successful female Paralympian by adding another three golds to her collection in Rio.

"Being here and having an opportunity to play is super great for me". The 30-year-old has bounced back from a bad 2017 and is close to the form that brought her the Australian and US Open titles two years ago. There was a time I could barely walk to my mailbox.

Her once tiresome news conferences have been livened up by her willingness to talk about being a mum, candid descriptions of her childbirth complications, and being upset at missing her daughter's first steps because she was training.

She opened with a double fault and won the next point with a bludgeoning forehand of breathtaking audacity, a pattern that left the audience gasping at her free-flowing brilliance and then gasping again at her appalling blunders right through the game. Goerges had come into her first Grand Slam semi-final having belted more winners (199), more aces (44) and more unreturned serves (113) than anyone else in the women's draw but those statistics counted for little when she came up against a red-hot Williams.

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